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Mitha Gaja / Shankarpale ~ The Diwali faraal making escapade-Part I ~

The glittering diyas, the bright, vivid hues of a meticulously rendered rangoli and the warm appetizing aroma of fried snacks hanging buoyantly in the air while my spirited family and friends gather around the porch to light up firecrackers– this is all that Diwali means to me. The celebration of virtue and compassion with an inanely fair amount of lip-smackingly delicious snacks – that’s surely something everyone wants to come together for. So to commemorate everything that makes Diwali remarkable, I had resolved that no matter how difficult it might seem to fit anything at all into my schedule right now, I am going to try and make as many snacks as I can and replicate “our gharwali” Diwali and this being our very first one after the wedding made it extra worth the effort. So homemade snacks, decorating up our home with lots of diyas, rangoli and lights, a celebration with friends and lots of food to share for our potluck – that became the highlight for our Diwali festivities this yea

bread · chaat masala · chickpea · chili powder · chilli · chutney · cilantro · corn flour · cumin · flour · garam masala · ginger · gram flour · Indian · jeera · ketchup · legume · masala · medium · mint leaves · noodle · onion · pea · pepper · potato · rice · rice flour · salt · sev · snack · sugar · sweetener · tomato · turmeric · Uncategorized · water

Oh! the joys of entertaining ~ Ragda Pattice / Aloo tikki chaat~

In our frenzied and increasingly impersonal world of late work nights, busy schedules and conveniently located restaurants luring us with elaborate menus, who takes an effort to cook anything for a meal time - leave alone a party? And in all this chaos, the burgeoning restaurant scene seems to have

american · bean · beetroot · black pepper · bread · cabbage · carrot · chilli · corn starch · cornstarch · dairy free · garam masala · garlic · ketchup · legume · mango powder · masala · medium · mint leaves · onion · ovo vegetarian · pepper · peppercorn · potato · pulses · raisin · red chilli · salt · snack · tomato · Uncategorized · vegan · vegetarian

Vegetarian croquette from modern Odia cuisine & the Cuttacki street-food ~ “Vegetable Chop”

There’s never been a cold, rainy day when I haven’t yearned to cuddle up in my cozy comforter gazing out of the window while sipping on a cup of chai generously laced with ginger and munching on crispy home-made pakodas. Although quite a rare occurrence these days, especially with our busy schedules and untimely rain, I considered myself extremely lucky to be home on one such afternoon when it rained generously to my heart’s desire. Just like rain does to every romantic’s heart, it brought out the poetic, creative side of me very willing to experiment. So on that occasional rainy afternoon, in a quest to celebrate the downpour as I raided my refrigerator to cook up something delish, I came across this half-a-piece of beet lingering in the forgotten corner of my fridge drawer. As I stared at it for a brief moment, the only thing that popped up distinctly was the "vegetable chop". While I am at it, I must confess that I have always had a love-hate relationship with beet.The very few time

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The quintessential Cuttacki fare – Dahi Vada Aloo Dum aau Guguni Chaat aka “Dahi Bara Aloo Dum”

The name itself conjures up thousands of memories and for anyone who’s everbeen to Cuttack or hails from the same, needs no intro to this legendary street food – Dahi Bara Aloo Dum and Guguni, mostly known as “Dahi Bara Aloo Dum”. But for the uninitiated, this lip-smacking street food is the combination of Dahi Vada topped with aloo dum and guguni (yellow peas curry), served generously garnished with cut onions, coriander leaves and sev. The savory tartness of the dahi vada perfectly complements the spicy aloo dum and guguni and all of it wonderfully comes together with the crunchiness of the onions and the sev. It’s truly a wonder how all three distinctly different dishes with strong flavor character of their own can meld together in this unique, indescribable way. But despite its iconic status within the state, it’s a pity that outside Odisha hardly many people know about it. In my past one year of blogging, I must admit that I have never shared anything as authentic and true to Cutt

all purpose flour · almond · american · baking soda · brown sugar · butter · chocolate · coffee · egg · flour · hazelnut · medium · nut · ovo vegetarian · salt · snack · sugar · sweetener · Uncategorized · vanilla extract

The nutty-chocolaty high ~ Chocolate hazelnut & almond cookies

Those of you, who have ever tried Nutella even once (although I am quite sure there would hardly be anyone who hasn't gone for the second try!!), would wholly back me up in my affection towards the same. For the uninitiated, Nutella is the brand name for a chocolate hazelnut spread found in almost all grocery stores now and trust me - its divine. My very dramatic introduction to this chocolate spread was during my first few days here in the US, grocery shopping with my German friend. While strolling along the aisles, I was startled with a shriek from an adjoining aisle and I rushed back to find her squeaking with happiness holding on tightly to a small chocolate container. She was literally jumping with joy all the while exclaiming "They have it HERE!!"... While I certainly won't deny finding her reaction a bit over the top, yet just out of respect for her intense adoration, I bought a jar for myself. Though quite reluctantly, soon I too became a fan of this "heavenly"-chocolaty-nutty

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The joyous treat – Besan Sooji / Besan Rava ladoo

Time surely has some mighty wings..coz it always flies by in a blink. At times, it’s so hard to believe that it’s been almost 2 years since I first tried my hand at besan ladoo and out of sheer enthusiasm posted it on Facebook. It was just a very naïve beginning to something I had no idea would turn out to be such a game (life?) changer. The legacy of posting pictures of any dish I was successful-at-my-first-try continued until the beginning of this year when it turned out to be a little more serious than that. This blog came into existence and it’s been a whole different journey since. I had always wished food to take a more sincere place in my life and besan ladoo seems to have been just a very auspicious start 🙂 My history with this recipe dates back to 2010 when my Ma was preparing this for Diwali and it piqued my interest so much that I had to try making it. Memories connect back to those days when my grandma would prepare these ladoos for us kids to gorge on with my sister being

asafoetida · bean · chickpea · chilli · cooking oil · cumin seed · curry leaves · green chilli · Indian · jeera · legume · mango powder · medium · nut · peanut · peanut oil · pepper · rice · salt · snack · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized

Ushering in Diwali with Chivda a.k.a. Chuda mixture

Being away from something that you absolutely adore makes you feel in either or both of these ways – intermittent feelings of guilt for not paying attention and/or the unnerving tinge of self- doubt on returning to doing it. At this moment I feel the second while the first has been bothering me all this while I was away from this blog. Even though I am very thankful that new and exciting experiences like organizing events, teaching a class and learning a group dance, have been keeping me away, it nonetheless kept bothering me with the question – when am I writing my next post? Well now that I am back, that answers it I guess. Having done with explaining my absence from the blog, I shall now move on to the real reason and motivation of today’s post a.k.a. the Chivda. Relieved of my responsibilities as an event planner, I was now left with the much needed space to finally think of making something for Diwali. Diwali and snacks almost seem synonymous and my first post on the series of Diw